Vintage Costume Jewelry Christmas Tree on My List

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Vintage Costume Jewelry Christmas Tree on My List


I have been collecting broken vintage costume jewelry for several year—with the goal of creating a lifelong feat of craftsmanship: a Christmas tree made of costume jewelry. This weekend I gathered all my supplies, took over the dining room and set about the collage. This project has not been easy — like making decorative wreaths, it is another effort to juggle three-dimensional color and shapes – which is made all the more stressful by the fact that a lot more jewelry is needed than you might think. Nevertheless, I am damn satisfied with the result!

Crime scene. Things that need to be collected over time to make this project possible:

  • Broken costume jewelry.
  • Vintage photo frames.
  • Vintage velvet.

Jewelry tongs or a set of very wide tongs are important to have at hand. Note: Links to Amazon bring me a small commission if you end up buying something.

Damn, you never knew how convenient it would be to have so many old broken pearl necklaces in your stash. I find them at most at every real estate sale. Use the beads-in all sizes, patterns, color and highlights – to fill in the gaps.

I thought about it at first and decided that I would prefer not to have a “right” edge on the right and left sides of the tree. I think it’s more interesting in this way. At the starting I created my “outline”. Then I filled out from there.

Think about your coloring: I wanted the tree to be mostly golden. But then I realized that I did not have enough jewelry — large pieces — to fill the tree. So I started adding light green, which I think worked well because gold contains green.

Scan the tree clockwise, starting at the bottom left, to make sure you create focal points, combine color, “break your edge” and then “build up” to make your eyes move — in a way that gives the room a visual liveliness.
Go slowly.

I probably returned to my crown ten times in three days to continue working on it. I bet I worked on it for at least 10 hour. My goal in such projects is to enjoy the process. So I’m taking my time. It is inexpensiver than therapy.

Next: I will paint the frame a little more and probably also add some bling. And I will change all the remaining jewelry to color and decoration pieces so that I can assess what I need to look for in the coming year when I am wandering through real estate sales.

Throw away all my rules — and create your own!

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